(The team who provided their services at the Warmstone Family Dentistry free dental care day in September, 2020. Photo: Submitted)
Warmstone Family Dentistry in Stittsville knows the importance of a healthy smile and they contributed to 36 patients receiving free dental services who would otherwise not afford the care. In 2012, Dr. Yazdani, the principal dentist and partner with Warmstone, was the first dentist in Ottawa to open up his clinic for an entire day to offer free dental services to those who can’t afford dentistry. At the time it was meant to give back and help some of the many people in need. Fast forward 9 years later and several dental offices have joined the march providing many days of free service throughout the year.
“It’s an important day for many reasons. a) for us to give the community and b) for us to be able to have that gratitude for everything we have. This day brings so much joy for all of us but also so much joy for people who need care. There are so many people out there that can not afford or have the resources to get dental care” Dr. Yazdani told Stittsville Central.
There was never apprehension as the Warmstone team felt the need for dental care has probably heightened in this pandemic as people financially struggle to get by. Also stress can cause a host of dental issues. It was more about figuring out what new measures were needed in place to make this annual day a success this year. So extra planning was required – i.e. an online registration process was used this year instead of a physical line-up at the door with a first come, first serve policy. Overall, this year’s free dental day saw 36 patients receiving over $7,000 in services that may have caused some hardship or total neglect of their teeth.
Joanna Ongcango, the Customer Service Team Leader, said, “It is always a good feeling. It is not a day of work, you’re serving. A lot of people look forward to it (volunteering). Warmstone is always in the community contributing to events but this is our own event. Many families don’t have dental coverage”. They day brought volunteers together, not only from the Warmstone team, but other clinics also had staff joining in.
Wesley Smith, a partner with Warmstone also told us, “This is an annual thing we do so our entire team looks forward to it. It’s a day where we can step into the clinic and know we’re donating our time and resources to a greater cause. We are using our craft to help those in need. When talking with my team during and after the day, I can say this year felt extra special. Everyone is struggling during this pandemic and to be able to participate in something that brought joy and happiness to so many people was really special”.
One of the patients who received his dental care during the day shared, “I had a (few) deep cavities and I am a student without money and, no, I have no insurance. These people are angels, these people are absolute saints. I needed it done, the fact they offered to do it is an absolute miracle. The experience was so good, they have a TV above the chair, headphones on my head so while they were drilling away on my mouth, I didn’t have to worry. I had a show going on, it drowned out the entire drilling experience. It was very comfortable.”
With concerns about COVID-19 in the midst, this posed a challenge for the Warmstone team to hold the free dental care day. But in their hearts they knew many people are in need. Quickly putting a plan in place, it was important for all to continue Dr. Yazdani’s annual tradition to bring this service to the community again.
Being proud that they could do so in 2020, the team tells us they are looking forward to doing it again next year!